Great advice for young folks starting out in any profession….
Subject: 2D Animator Looking For Advice!
I am extremely keen to start work in an animation studio and I was wondering if you had any advice for an aspiring young animator looking for their first job.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for reaching out, and congratulations for finishing school. A big achievement. Now the hard part.
Well, not so super hard. My advice isn’t so super, or surprising, or for that matter any different than for any industry.
Basically, you need to go where the work is, knock on the door, and beg.
I’ve found that the best thing for a person starting out in any field is to try and get any job –any job– available. That is, if at any given animation studio, if there’s a receptionist’s job, a custodian’s job, an assistant, or anything, take it!
My own observation and experience is that getting into the proper work environment, meeting some who are more skilled, some less, others starting out just like you, is always best. They’re the people who will be most helpful, because, truth be told, they started out the same way. They know what’s what, and what you’re going through, so they’re very sympathetic, and know how to guide a beginner.
One of my favorite stories involves a young artist who started as the Nickelodeon Animation tour guide. He figured that he wasn’t good enough (yet!) and that meeting and learning was going to be his best bet. He was the best tour guide the studio ever had (it helps to do a fantastic job at whatever is thrown your way), so he made fast friends. Eventually, he got an apprentice job, and within a few years had one of the best storyboard jobs (his first goal) in the television industry.
All this said, I’m most familiar with Los Angeles, and I often push people in that direction even though I’m based in New York.
Why? It’s the busiest commercial animation hub in the world, so by definition, it’s got the most opportunity. The most work, but also great chances to meet other animation professionals, which like I said, can form the backbone of your work network for an entire career.
But, that’s not to downplay what’s available in Ireland (tax breaks are creating amazing openings), London, Vancouver, Toronto, Japan, and elsewhere. Animation is exploding around the world, and there’s a right town for everyone. Even you.
Best of luck, hope things go great.
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